Agile Self-Organizing Teams
This article uses an autotrophic and photosynthesis metaphor in Agile and aligning with one of the Agile principles that mention the concept of self-organization.
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My son is in seventh grade and appearing for his final exams. As part of the preparation, he wrote a pre-exam at home and asked me to review the paper. While going through it, I came across a topic that recharged my mind and reminded me of a science topic that we all studied in school. I immediately had a thought that connected this topic to one of the Agile principles I’m discussing in this article.
Autotrophic nutrition is a topic in biology that describes the process by which an organism/plant prepares its own food from simple inorganic materials such as water, mineral salts, and carbon dioxide in the presence of Sunlight.” The term “autotrophic” is derived from the combination of two terms: “auto” (self) and “trophic” (nutrition).
Likewise, Photosynthesis provides food to all living beings. During photosynthesis, water and carbon dioxide are used in the presence of sunlight to produce carbohydrates and oxygen. Oxygen, one of the main components of life on Earth, is released by plants during photosynthesis.
Using this Autotrophic and Photosynthesis metaphor in Agile and aligning with one of the Agile principles that mention the concept of self-organization.
“The Best Architectures, Requirements, and Designs Emerge From Self-Organizing Teams”
Plants, as we know, require sufficient sunlight, water, and carbon dioxide to grow and produce oxygen for living things. Agile teams, in my opinion, should act like autotrophic organisms by self-managing the work, developing the necessary skills, and establishing the necessary tools to eventually deliver value in the presence of Agile. These are some of the characteristics that will enable Agile teams to self-organize.
In line with the autotrophic and photosynthesis metaphor diagram, here are a few more details that will help Agile teams self-organize to create the best designs, architectures, and requirements.
Sun is depicted as Agile in the diagram, and the plant is an Agile team.
In the presence of Agile, teams should manage work by owning the project, maintaining flow, comprehending the entire end-to-end requirements, removing ambiguities, and clarifying queries through appropriate discussions and meetings. They should ascertain that the requirements contain sufficient information to begin design and development.
It is extremely similar to a plant absorbing carbohydrates in the presence of sunlight. Absorb whatever one can by comprehending the ask of the customer. Create wireframes and business flows, and at the core, incorporate Design Thinking strategy to understand the need of the customer.
Similarly, Agile teams must brainstorm to determine what skills are required within the team to develop the understood requirements and created tasks. The onus will be on Agile teams to create or identify the tools (TDD, BDD, Automation, DevOps tools, etc.) required to simplify their work while maintaining high quality.
As we all know, plants produce oxygen by using water and carbon dioxide in the presence of sunlight; similarly, Agile teams will be able to deliver and release great products and solutions if they have the power to handle the work as well as the necessary skills and tools.
An organization/management, on the other hand, can act as soil for Agile teams.
So, what should an organization do to assist teams in becoming self-organized?
Create a psychologically safe environment for them to act in, trust them in what they do, encourage participation, provide adequate support, and finally, be strong enough so that the teams can feel strong as well.
I would like to encourage readers to leave any additional Co2 and H2O points in the comments that will enable Agile teams to self-organize in order to create O2 for customers.
Published at DZone with permission of Krishna P. See the original article here.
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